The Importance Of ‘Trust’ In The Sales Equation

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

trust wordingHere are some simple facts about selling:

In order to sell anything you must be able to influence other people. You cannot influence anyone if they don’t TRUST you! The higher the value of the sale the more TRUST is needed & the longer the potential term of the relationship the more TRUST is needed.

Therefore the strict order of sales engagement is ‘Build TRUST’, ‘Apply INFLUENCE’ and only then can you ‘SELL’.

Old proverbs tell us that trust takes years to build and seconds to lose but in sales we don’t have years, in many cases we have to do it in minutes, let alone hours. I disagree with the old proverbs and tell you that trust can be won in a very short space of time. Here’s how?

Trust is won when what you say you will do and what you actually do are 100% aligned. This can happen in a single phone call or in a single sales visit. At the outset of the call or meeting tell the client what you hope to achieve and will have done for them by the end of the interaction. Also tell them how long the call or meeting will be. Get their acceptance of all the points and/or agree any items they want to add or remove from the list. If you complete the call/meeting and have achieved all of the stated objectives within the time agreed you have DONE what you SAID you would do! Make sure any follow up actions are also done exactly as you state.

The more you say and do that is 100% aligned the more trust you build BUT the moment you fail to deliver a single element on time you start to lose trust.

Here’s a real example. I was observing some telesales staff in action the other week and I overheard one of them say to a client “Thank you for your time, I’ll send those details over on an email straight away.” To my astonishment he then picked up the phone and started to dial another prospect! “What about the email?” I exclaimed! He advised me that it was company policy not to do email during ‘power hours’ and that he would send the email after 3pm! TRUST lost!

We had a chat and I explained the Trust/Influence dynamic and he sent the email (against the rules). From that point on though he made a point of saying to any interested prospects “Do you need that information immediately? If not is it OK if I send the email at 3pm when I do my administration?

If you have ever seen an episode of Dragons’ Den you will have seen entrepreneurs trying to ‘influence’ the panel of wealthy potential investors that they are a person/people they could ‘trust’ with their money and that they are ‘savvy’ and reliable business people. In rare instances after the ‘pitch’ phase two or more Dragons sometimes compete head to head to capture the deal. At this point the Influence/Trust dynamic is reversed. It is now the powerful Dragons that are trying to ‘influence’ the entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurs are thinking who do we trust to help our business grow?

So TRUST me, if you want to be a super salesperson, you must deliver what you say you will do 100% of the time and NOT just when it suits you!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 13 August, 2013

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More

Arrow down